IASbaba PIB Weekly : Press Information Bureau – 10th Sep to 15th Sep, 2018

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  • September 15, 2018
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IASbaba Press Information Bureau 10th to 15th 

September, 2018



Fight against malnutrition taken up in a mission mode

  1. Increase of daily cost norms for the beneficiaries of the ICDS Programme
  2. A technology based real time monitoring system of the Anganwadi services
  3. Identification and elimination of fake beneficiaries which is an ongoing process: Eliminated approximately one crore fake beneficiaries from the system
  4. Increase the honorarium of Anganwadi: It is being increased by 1½ times from the existing amount –
  • The Anganwadi workers will be given Rs. 4500/- instead of Rs. 3000/-
  • Mini Anganwadi worker will be given Rs.3500/- instead of Rs.2250/-
  • Anganwadi helper will be given Rs. 2250/- instead of Rs. 1500/- per month

This will boost their morale and help improve the delivery of services by the frontline workers and will  in turn help to achieve the goal of Poshan Abhiyan.

Poshan Abhiyan

  • The Rs. 9,000-crore mission will strive to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, and low birth weight by 2 per cent and anaemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) by 3 per cent annually over the three-year mission period.
  • The focus of the Abhiyaan is on the first 1000 days of the child and preventive care for adolescent girls, women and mothers.
  • Home-based Care for Young Child (HBYC) would be a crucial component of the Abhiyaan.
  • In HBYC, ASHAs supported by Anganwadi workers will visit the homes of children aged between 3 to 15 months and sensitise mothers on energy density and diet of child.

Must Read: Health and Nutrition: No child left behind

Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017

The Act safeguards the rights of people living with HIV and affected by HIV.

The provisions of the Act address

  • HIV-related discrimination
  • Strengthen the existing programme by bringing in legal accountability
  • Establish formal mechanisms for inquiring into complaints and redressing grievances

The Act lists various grounds on which discrimination against HIV positive persons and those living with them is prohibited. These include the denial, termination, discontinuation or unfair treatment with regard to:

(i) Employment

(ii) Educational establishments

(iii) Health care services

(iv) Residing or renting property

(v) Standing for public or private office

(vi) Provision of insurance (unless based on actuarial studies).

The requirement for HIV testing as a pre-requisite for obtaining employment or accessing health care or education is also prohibited.

Cabinet approves

MoU between India and South Africa on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes:

The areas of cooperation under this MoU are the following:

  • Remote sensing of the earth;
  • Satellite communication and satellite-based navigation;
  • Space science and planetary exploration;
  • Use of spacecraft, launch vehicles, space systems and ground systems;
  • Practical applications of space technology including geospatial tools and techniques

MoU on Collaborative Research on Distributed Ledger and Block Chain Technology in the context of Development of digital economy by Exim Bank under BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism

  • Distributed Ledger/Block chain technology holds potential for solutions to various challenges being faced in the financial sector space of the BRICS nations.
  • The MoU intends to enhance understanding of Distributed Ledger/Block Chain technology, through the joint research efforts to identify areas within respective business operations where it may have the potential for applications aimed at enhancing the operational efficiencies.

MoU between India and Egypt on cooperation in the field of Agriculture & allied sectors

The MoU provides for cooperation in areas of agricultural crops (especially wheat and maize), agricultural biotechnology, nanotechnology, irrigation and water management technology including water harvesting and micro-irrigation technology, management of agriculture wastes management for energy production; food security, safety and quality; horticulture; organic agriculture; livestock husbandry, livestock breeding, dairying, fisheries, feed and fodder production; animal products and value addition; sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues concerning trade in plant and animal products; agriculture machinery in small scale; agri-business and marketing; pre and post-harvest procedures; food technology and processing; integrated pest management in agriculture; agricultural extension and rural development; agricultural trade & investment; intellectual property rights issues; technical know-how and human resources in seed sector; infrastructure development and capacity building in agriculture & allied sectors and other related areas of interest that are mutually agreed upon by both Parties.

Cooperation will also be effected through exchange of research scientists and experts; exchange of agricultural information and scientific publications (journals, books, bulletins, statistical data on agriculture and allied sectors); exchange of germplasm & agriculture technology; and conducting joint seminars, workshops, symposiums and other similar activities.

Signing of MoU between India and Malta for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism

  • To encourage the quality destination of tourism industry in both countries;
  • To increase tourist arrivals in both countries from the entire world through the territories of India and Malta;
  • Promoting human resource development in tourism and travel-related  industries in both countries;
  • To contribute to a new tourism, offer, particularly through the promotion of natural and tangible, and intangible cultural heritage, the development of sustainable tourism and the use of information technologies; and
  • To recognize that tourism is a means to foster relationship between peoples of the two countries.

Policy Framework to Promote and Incentivize Enhanced Recovery Methods for Oil and Gas

Strategic objective of the Policy: To build a supportive ecosystem through academic and research institutes, industry- academia collaboration and to support and encourage Exploration and Production (E&P) Contractors to deploy ER/IR/UHC Methods/ techniques.

The ER includes Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) and Enhanced Gas Recovery (EGR), Unconventional Hydrocarbon (UHC) production methods include Shale oil and gas production, tight oil and gas production, production from oil shale, gas hydrates and heavy oil. Enhanced Recovery, Improved Recovery and exploration and exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons are capital intensive, technologically complex and challenging in nature. It calls for supporting infrastructure, logistic support, fiscal incentives and enabling environment.

New Umbrella Scheme “Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan” (PM-AASHA)

  • The Scheme is aimed at ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers for their produce as announced in the Union Budget for 2018.
  • The increase in MSP will be translated to farmer’s income by way of robust procurement mechanism in coordination with the State Governments.


Model International Center for Transformative Artificial Intelligence (ICTAI)

Collaboration between: NITI Aayog, Intel, and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR)

Purpose: Towards developing and deploying AI-led application-based research projects

  • Model ICTAI aims to conduct advanced research to incubate AI-led solutions in three important areas – healthcare, agriculture and smart mobility – by bringing together the expertise of Intel and TIFR.
  • It aims to experiment, discover and establish best practices in the domains of ICTAI governance, fundamental research, physical infrastructure, compute and service infrastructure needs, and talent acquisition.

Through this collaborative effort, the model ICTAI is chartered to develop AI foundational frameworks, tools and assets, including curated datasets and unique AI algorithms –

  • To develop standards and support policy development related to information technology such as data-storage, information security, privacy, and ethics for data capture and use.
  • To develop AI foundational technologies to promote applied research that can scale for national impact and will lead to the creation of a vibrant and self-sustaining ecosystem.
  • Collaboration with industry leaders, start-ups, and AI services and product companies to productize technologies and IP that are developed at the model ICTAI
  • Support skilling and talent development for world-class AI talent

Prelims Oriented News

Next Chief Justice of India: Justice Ranjan Gogoi

First Tribal Circuit Project under Swadesh Darshan Scheme: Jashpur- Kunkuri- Mainpat- Kamleshpur- Maheshpur- Kurdar-Sarodadadar- Gangrel- Kondagaon- Nathiya Nawagaon- Jagdalpur- Chitrakoot- Tirthgarh

Apsara – U Reactor Becomes Operational: Upgraded version of the first research reactor in Asia. The reactor, made indigenously, uses plate type dispersion fuel elements made of Low Enriched Uranium (LEU).  By virtue of higher neutron flux, this reactor will

  • Increase indigenous production or radio-isotopes for medical application by about fifty percent
  • Would also be extensively used for research in nuclear physics, material science and radiation shielding

Three ‘A’s’ for successful implementation of Mission Indradhanush:

  1. ASHA
  2. Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM)
  3. Anganwadi workers

Nomadic Elephant-2018: Indo-Mongolia joint exercise; an annual, bilateral exercise since 2006 which is designed to strengthen the partnership between Indian Army and Mongolian Armed Forces

Successful Air-to-Air Refuelling of LCA Tejas: The Air-to-Air refuelling capability for LCA is a ‘force multiplier’ for the IAF, giving the aircraft the potential to stay airborne for much longer periods of time. The enhanced range and endurance in air is expected to provide IAF a host of options in exploiting the operational potential of the LCA as well as to participate in international exercises without having to stage through several locations enroute.

PM Modi, Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina, CMs of West Bengal and Tripura, jointly dedicate three projects in Bangladesh:

(a) 500 MW additional power supply from India to Bangladesh, through the existing Bheramara (Bangladesh) – Baharampur (India) interconnection

(b) Akhaura – Agartala Rail Link

(c) Rehabilitation of the Kulaura-Shahbazpur section of Bangladesh Railways

Quotes/Words to Quote

Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu

On India – Addressing the 2nd World Hindu Conference 2018, in Chicago, USA

The extraordinary vision of ancient India encapsulates a message that is timeless and eternally relevant because it is holistic, integrated and universal. Whenever the world is faced with the threats of fragmentation, conflict, hatred and irrational prejudices, the Indian voice brings to the world the soothing, inclusive perspectives that have pervaded its cultural world for more than two millennia.

We have inherited a treasure house of ideas, values and attitudes. In a world of unprecedented changes, we need a sheet anchor and a spiritual compass. India could offer those to the world. In a world that is filled with bitterness, India could provide the honey of wisdom gathered from different flowers by different bees.

Words to Quote in Mains answer:

On Smart Cities

Leaving people with disabilities out of economic opportunities leads to a loss of 3-7%of GDP annually

  • Divyang-friendly measures need to be integrated at planning stage for ensuring inclusive growth in Smart Cities in India
  • In conjunction with the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), the Smart Cities Mission seeks to ensure that the most vulnerable sections of our society enjoy ‘Ease of Living’ in Indian cities.
  • We have the Accessible India Campaign, AMRUT, HRIDAY, Swachh Bharat, Digital India and the Smart Cities Mission – and accessibility cuts across them all.
  • The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its 17 goals and 169 targets, has given the nations of the world a very ambitious framework with the underlying theme of ‘Leave No One Behind’. “This framework is inspired by the Indian ethos of Sarvodaya through Antyodaya.

On Agriculture

The goal of agricultural development planning and investment in India needs to go beyond the production, productivity and acreage. Important as they are but these three are merely output indicators so far as the farmers as producers are concerned. The outcome from their perspective is to be seen in their gains in terms of profit and prosperity.

As per the Fourth Advance Estimate a record production of 284.83 million tonnes during 2017-18 was achieved; which means an increase in production continuously for a second year. The challenge that such a situation of abundance puts up before us is that of maintaining food prices at levels that ensure farmers get their due profits, while not letting the general consumers remain deprived of the gains of bumper harvest. It is for this purpose that the following policy instruments help us in tacking the situation –

  • Minimum Support Price
  • Procurement for Public Distribution System
  • Price Support Scheme
  • Market Intervention Scheme

The farmers face numerous problems in both managing agricultural production with the minimum possible cost and selling their produce at the maximum feasible agricultural produce prices because of serious market imperfections.

  • The farmer faces farm input market imperfections which are handiworks of the business and industry involved in the production and distribution of these inputs.
  • Similarly, when it comes to realizing maximum prices the agricultural produce market ground realities disable and deprive the farmers of their due prices.

This shows in terms of non-availability of markets as such, and the exploitative nature of functioning of farm business and industry handling in agricultural markets.

The other factors that enable farmers to profit and prosper by ideal use of their land, animal, water, and forestry resources are related to their ability to maximize their income with a focus on maximizing revenue; and earn more by enhancing their farm business acumen. This requires serious attention to use innovative farm technology and management to increase both produce and earning on the one hand and reducing uncertainties related to crop, prices, and supporting services on the other hand.

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